APP OF THE DAY: Penn & Teller Chat Magic Trick (iPhone)

Not all apps have to be practical or games you know. Indeed, some of Pocket-lint's favourites are mostly useless in everyday life, but have that little zing that sets them apart from the rest.

To be honest, there are some on the team that are still content with the wooshing noise of a lightsaber, or the slow draining of an on-screen pint. We've even had a simulated Zippo lighter, for heavens' sake. Thankfully, this fantastic time-waster is a little more involved than those...

Penn & Teller Chat Magic Trick


World-famous illusionists Penn & Teller could certainly teach Paul Daniels a thing or two when it comes to keeping up with the latest technology and to prove it they've come up with this crafty app. All you need for this trick is £1.19 for the app, an iPhone, and a really gullible friend. The idea is to fool your dippy chum into thinking that you're mates with the famous magical duo who appear to answer your texts with the name of the card that's been chosen by your unwitting pal.

The app includes a video and help pages explaining how to do the trick, as well as advanced settings to make the whole thing look more plausible. The idea is to get your victim to choose a card, tell you and you then text Penn or Teller to ask them what the card is.

Of course, the catch is that while you're supposedly calling up your text screen, you're actually entering the name of the card on the specially designed menu screen, which can be cunningly disguised to look like the conventional iPhone menu. Of course, to do it properly you need to learn which icon refers to which number and card suit. Obviously the texts aren't actually real either - just part of the elaborate trick.

It works 24 hours a day and the replies vary according to the time of day and the mood that you find Penn & Teller in. The trick will also work on the iPod touch and iPad although we think it looks most convicing on the iPhone.

If you can keep a straight face during the trick and you have a plethora of daft friends, then this app is fantastic fun.

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